Houston Texans' David Johnson opens up on Arizona Cardinals' DeAndre Hopkins trade stress

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic

The Arizona Cardinals' trade for DeAndre Hopkins could end up going down among the most lopsided trades in NFL history.

You don't need to remind the other main part of the trade, the Houston Texans' David Johnson, about it.

Johnson revisited the trade in a recent interview with The Athletic ahead of his return to Arizona, opening up about the stress and frustration it caused.

The Texans and Cardinals face off on Sunday at 1:25 p.m. at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

“Then it became really bad,” Johnson told The Athletic about his reaction when he heard Hopkins was included in the deal sending him from Arizona to Houston in 2020.

“I was in such a fishbowl,” he said. “Everything I did was going to be magnified because of the trade. Honestly, I felt like if I was traded for anyone else, it wouldn’t be as bad. I think just the magnitude of the trade is what made it so stressful.”

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Johnson continued: “I felt like I was constantly having a lot of adversity thrown at me,” he said. “I was just getting real frustrated, really mad. The biggest thing for me is I was bringing it home to my wife and kids, being stressed and carrying it over from the game or the facility to my wife. I felt like they didn’t deserve that.”

The Texans were slammed for the trade, which also sent a second and fourth-round pick to Houston in exchange for Hopkins and a fourth-round selection, and they continue to be bashed for it.

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Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) shakes hands with fans before playing against the Cleveland Browns at State Farm Stadium December 15, 2019.

Hopkins has impressed for the Cardinals in Arizona, including having 26 catches for 367 yards and six touchdowns this season.

Johnson has 20 carries for 79 yards for the Texans this season. He also has 14 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown.

“You can’t control everything, and if you try to, that’s when it gets really frustrating,” Johnson told The Athletic. “That’s when your world starts breaking down.”

The Cardinals' J.J. Watt, who was a teammate of Johnson's on the Texans last season, discussed Johnson's situation with reporters on Thursday.

“I’m sure being traded is a different situation than mine, obviously because you’re being told where to go rather than choose where you go. But I’m sure he’s looking forward to this opportunity to play against his old team and I’m sure he’s hoping to have a big game and he’s gonna give everything he’s got this week, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

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Look back: DeAndre Hopkins-David Johnson trade

azcentral sports stories in the wake of the DeAndre Hopkins and David Johnson's trade between the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans in 2020.

Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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